I was just going over David Horowitz’s recent article, mostly to gauge Horowitz’s temperament after 8 months of the Obama administration. He managed to go the entire article without attacking Ron Paul supporters, but another interesting nugget caught my eye. It was a quote from Van Jones about tactics in a 2005 East Bay Express interview.
In it, he reflected on the realization that ends are only achieved as a consequence of choosing the correct means, to borrow the verbiage of the loathsome yet brilliant socialist tactician Saul Alinsky. In it, Jones wrote that he still considered himself a revolutionary, just a more effective one because, in his words, “I’m willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends.”
Do I want to stand in the wilderness and yell self-serving platitudes about the right of man into a vacuum devoid of the rigorous trials that the real world applies to ideas or do I want to get in the game and fight for actual change?
This is a question that, as a libertarian, I have asked myself and come to the same conclusion as Van Jones. That’s why I don’t belong to the Libertarian Party and, in fact, am a card-carrying Republican. The LP shares my beliefs almost completely, while the GOP barely does, but what is that worth if the only potential satisfaction is my own selfish desire to feel a part of a community that shares my values while my world comes apart?
It will take radical means to change the trajectory of our country; a return to Constitutional rule and respect for individual sovereignty are certainly radical ends, but they are only achievable through practical strategies and tactics. Reading Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” and understanding how the current crop of leftists ninnies got to power is a good start.
Note: I included Van Jones’s “I’m a pretty little buttercup” picture as a warning that being pragmatic doesn’t mean you have to become a complete p***y.Published in